The Boombox music festival is the perfect sort of thing for Tussey Mountain to host. A cavalcade of electronic dance musicians and hordes of their devoted fans will literally be ascending to new heights on Saturday when this all-day festival unfolds in Boalsburg. Featuring more than a dozen acts, the Boombox festival is set to pound pulses and snap eardrums with a blend of wobble bass, synths and infectious beats and rhythms that have the ability to hypnotize and captivate those who have fallen under their enticing spell.
Headlined by Canadian dubstep superstar Datsik and Germany’s trance music master Markus Schulz, Boombox also features locally bred artists like reggae outfit The Perkolators and dubstep duo Rubix Cubed, who have recently been making quite the name for themselves in State College. Providing an array of both established and on-the-rise artists, Boombox serves as a smorgasbord of sound for the discerning dance music aficionado.
“You get a good chance to see more entertainment and more artists play within a one-day period versus just a couple of hours on any given night,” said Todd Rodeghiero, one of the festival’s organizers, “We wanted to do something a little bit larger, a little more unique and we thought that an outdoor atmosphere would be something that people would appreciate.”
“I’m excited that this town is bringing a big show like this, something that’s genre specific to electronic music,” said Matt Price, who will be pulling double duty on Saturday as the drummer for both The Perkolators and Rubix Cubed, “Overall, I’m just really excited about this scene and that this is actually happening in our town. I’m glad to be a part of it.”
Modern electronic dance music, or EDM, was initially dismissed as a mere fad, but it’s proven quite persistent. Thanks to a slew of artists who have experimented with and eventually embraced EDM, it is now arguably more popular than ever, even though it’s hard to precisely pinpoint an exact reason for its current reign.
“For me, I’ve only really been into electronic music for the past two years or so and I just kind of caught onto this wave,” Price said.
“I was introduced to dubstep music and I have never really heard or experienced anything like it and I was instantly drawn into it and I think that it has that effect on a lot of younger people right now. It’s fresh, it’s exciting, it’s rebellious and it’s the type of music that your parents probably don’t understand. I also think that a big part of it is the live scene, where it’s all about the lights and the music and the whole experience is very visceral, it’s all encompassing, it’s not just a sound.”
Rodeghiero also believes that interconnectedness and the ability to converse with anyone anywhere at any time has also played a part in the global rise of the EDM takeover.
“Technology and the ability to create music digitally, to share it, distribute it and have it go viral,” Rodeghiero said while listing the reasons he believes have led to EDM’s bursting contemporary popularity.
This line of thinking is also relevant with regards to the musicians who will be sharing the stage on Saturday at Tussey Mountain. The blending of the national and international with the local is precisely what a good music scene needs to have in order to thrive at the next level and that is exactly what the Boombox festival is preparing to do.
“Primarily the music is electronic dance music and there are different artists within that genre, we have dubstep and electro-house artists, so there’s something for everyone,” Rodeghiero said.
“Marcus Schulz brings a different element which is really cool. He’s one of the most renowned progressive house and trance artists in the world. When it comes to the local bands, they bring a different flavor and in addition to having that local feeling, it’s an outreach to the community.”
As the geographic center of the commonwealth and as an incredibly active artery easily leading to the major metropolitan areas of the northeast, State College and Centre County are seemingly tailor-made for a festival of this scale and Boombox is set to bring legitimacy to the region as a major national festival powerhouse.
“It’s one of the very first outdoor shows in the spring and people are dying to get out of their houses and dorm rooms,” Rodeghiero said, “It has world-class EDM artists, hip-hop artists, local artists, solid stage production and hopefully good weather.”
“This is the kind of thing where if it goes well on Saturday, it could become an annual thing, which would be great,” Price said, “We just want to bring good energy and good vibes.”